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Tybee 500 insider

5/17/2009

Tybee 500 photo gallery

Editor's note: Dave Krantz traveled with the ground support crew for Team Zhik as his son Mike competed in the Tybee 500, a catamaran race from Islamorada, Fla., to Tybee Island, Ga. He reported results from each day's race and offered inside looks at the challenges to compete and navigate 500 miles of ocean.

• "You haven't won anything unless you win the respect of the other sailors." That was overheard on the morning when the controversy over cutting the buoys at Cape Canaveral was being discussed. Cat sailors, like golfers are quick to turn themselves in for infractions.

• The Tybee 500 race is actually 547 miles long.

• Sailing a catamaran can be compared to hanging off a building while someone spray you with a saltwater fire hose.

• There are two kinds of sailors, those that pee in their wet suits and those that lie about it.

• Male/female teams compete regularly. What do they do about bathroom facilities? See above.

• A writer for a leading sailing magazine once sailed as a teamate for one leg of the race commented: "I expected a faster than normal sailing trip but this is like the Baja 500. If you don't push your boat to the maximum and sail on the ragged edge, you will finish four hours behind the fleet. It's no wonder these guys break so much equipment."

• One sailor when asked what he had for lunch during the race replied "an apple and something squishy."

• Team Zhik usually ate an apple each day which is good for energy and taking the saltwater taste out of your mouth. They also carried the gel pouch type power bars.

• According the Zhik team, green apple flavored gel pacs were terrible, strawberry banana edible and cafe latte the best because the caffiene jacked you up..

• Do not attempt to eat lunch in a Tiki bar if it's raining and the wind is blowing.

• The difference between adventure and ordeal is attitude ... very evident in the Tybee 500.

• Motel stupidity award goes to Holiday Inn in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Most racers reserve rooms for themselves and ground crew by phone using credit then give credit card to their ground crew to use when checking in. Motel insisted the credit card owner had to be there with photo identification to check. Result was real scramble to come up with credit cards since some of crew members were young guys still in school. This was not a probem at other stops and race organizers need to straighten these clowns out or take their 60-room contingent elsewhere. Did I mention the internet service was lousy or non existent?

• Is there a correlation between how many pillows are on the bed and how much a motel charges. Does anyone know of anyone, anywhere who requires six pillows for sleeping?

• The more expensive a motel is, the less your chances of getting a free breakfast.

• What's with the combination sheet/comforter they put on beds that weighs 15 pounds on your feet and is too heavy to sleep under bar south of Minnesota.

• "Saltine Cracker is better" award goes to the restaurant at the Hollywood Beach Marriot. Their paper thin, sauted, pan-fried parmesan flavored cardboard they serve with salads is a poor substitute for bread or even a saltine cracker.

• The very best grouper sandwich in the US=.A. may be at the restaurant beside the bridge in Islamorado, Fla.

• There's very few unnamed mountains left in the world and someone is missing a real mountain naming opportunity. Traveling on the Sunshine Parkway in south Florida they have what appear to be small mountains visible from the highway but actually are huge mounds of garbage that they have piled up, put dirt over them and planted grass on. They have to do this because the water table doesn't allow burying garbage. My suggestion is that we recognize members of Congress for their legislative contributions. Senators Dodd, Pelosi and Frank are early nominees.